Bruce Johnson's Family History Website

The Mudfords of Devon and  Somerset

The Fitzwilliam museum,  in Cambridge has a rare coin, a half-penny, as shown below

In the early years of the industrial revolution  the early capitalists needed a way to  organise the payments they made to their spinners and weavers, without having large amounts of cash tied up.   They found it convenient to issue tokens,  their own private money.  This very rare survivor was issued by cloth merchant John Mudford,  and was minted at Collumpton,  North Devon in 1667. The Mudfords then were involved in the cloth businuss, England's main source of exports and wealth.
The Mudford details which follow have been researched by other people who allowed me access to their family trees. Many of the details have not been checked by me as yet. 
John Mudford born 1536 married Agnes (Chiselborough, Somerset)
One of their children was John Mudford

John Mudford born 1575 married Margerie Patten (Chiselborough, Somerset)
Their children were Mary Mudford 1601, John Mudford 1604, Agnes Mudford 1607, Ann Mudford 1608

John Mudford 1604 married Mary Coombe (Chiselborough, Somerset)
John Mudford 1630 - 1710 married Christabelle (Chiselborough, Somerset)
Their children were Margary 1660, Thomas, 1663-1693, and Burnard 1664

Thomas Mudford 1663 married Joan Cross (West Chinnock, Somerset)
Their children were William Mudford,1701, John Mudford 1707 - 1753, Joan Mudford1793

In 1733 John Mudford 1707 married Elizabeth Murley (West Chinnock, Somerset)
Their children were Thomas Mudford 1733-1735,  Jean 1735, Mary 1735,  Barnard 1736-1772, Thomas 1737, Grace 1738 - 1759, John, 1740 - 1782,  Elizabeth 1743 -1788, Sarah 1745, William 1748,  Robert 1751

Robert Mudford 1751 married Ann Hicks
They appear to have married on 30 October 1775, at Broadwindsor, Dorset.
Their children were James 1770, Mary 1773,  George 1775-1848,   Hannah 1778,  Robert 1778,  John 1791, all born in  West Chinnock, Somerset
We believe that the family then migrated into London seeking work, possibly as the hand-loom weaving trade collapsed in the face of increasing mechanisation.

Ann must have died and Robert remarried.  The marriage records of St Dunstans Church,  Stepney, read:
23 Apr 1804    by banns

Robert Mudford of this parish and hamlet of Ratcliff     widower   
Mary Baker otp and same hamlet   widow      marked x

John Mudford,  the youngest of the family,  emigrated to New Zealand:

"THE CLIFTON Sailed from Gravesend, England 2nd October 1841, arrived Nelson 2 April 1842 Emigrants aboard:- John Mudford aged 44 years, sailmaker Johanna, his wife aged 44 years (nee Newett) William, their son aged 8 years John (Jnr) aged 23 years, sailmaker Susan, his wife aged 22 years Susan, their daughter aged 7 weeks Ann aged 18 years, servant George aged 21 years, seaman
John's older sister, Hannah Mudford, born in West Chinnock  1778 married James Barlow but the registers of St Anne's Limehouse have several different Barlows and many online family trees have tended to "mix and match"   whatever records they have found.  Our branch of the family lived in Nightingale Lane.  There are several interesting details in the records:
Their children were John 1798, Mary 1799, John 1801,   George 1805,  Mary 1807 - 1882, Charlotte 1810-1867, Robert 1811-1898, Lydia 1814- 1867,  Elizabeth 1816
The marriage took place in 1802 but St Anne Limehouse baptism register has baptisms for children of James and Hannah Barlow in 1799 (John), 1800 (Mary) and 1801 (John);

In 1799 James Barlow is listed as a weaver,   but by 1807 handloom weaving was a dying trade and James is now a starcher, by 1810 a labourer.
His youngest daughter Elizabeth was born in 1816 and he died in 1817 leaving Hannah to bring up a young family.

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